While my girlfriend doesn't believe at all in Gods or anything else 'supernatural', she has said repeatedly she would love to have faith. She finds the thought that someone is watching over you comforting, and it would ease her fear of dying--although I pray the Moirai keep that inevitability away from us for a long while longer. I find a lot of comfort in my faith. It wasn't the reason why I started worshipping the Gods, but it is a really nice bonus. Stepping out of the house after offering to Hermes makes me feel surer I will return to it at the end of the day. Praying to Hekate to watch over the boundaries of my home while we sleep makes me a lot less jumpy when I hear a noise; I have faith that I have Their divine protection--not to the point of stupidity, but I still go through life a little more peacefully.

A little while ago, I discussed asking the Gods things for yourself with a blog reader. He came from a background where asking things for yourself was discouraged; I did as well. While the Gods certainly should not be treated as divine vending machines, Hellenismos does functions around the concept of kharis, where proper worship raises your standing with the Theoi to such a degree They might be inclined to look after you. It's not a sure bet, but it helps feel more at ease in life.

I want to talk a moment about faith, about having it, and what it means to me. A little while ago, I told you about my intolerance issues with grains (and, as it turns out, grass seeds). I've most likely had it all my life, but I have been struggling with it the last two years and since a few months, it has become acute: whenever I ingest anything in the grain or grass family, I get cold flashes after five to ten minutes, my throat closes up, I get pins-and-needles headaches and then, about twenty minutes in, the nausea starts. The stomach cramps start a short while after that. If I am lucky, the cold flashes end by then, and the headache fades a little. These episodes last anywhere from three to eight hours, and they are exhausting, painful, and they make me very unhappy.

Yesterday, I unintentionally poisoned myself again because I didn't read a label correctly. I say 'again' because it happened on Sunday as well when my mind totally blew past the fact that popcorn is corn (duh!) and I really, really, should not be eating corn. I realized what I was doing after three bits, but three hours later, I was still cursing myself. Again, I'm not asking for sympathy, I'm only sharing this to make a point--beyond the fact that my brain really needs to get with the program; last night, while mentally steeling myself to do my nighttime rituals with a stomach cramp, headache, and a constricted throat, my girlfriend came up to me and told me--and then the ceiling--that the Gods should take better care of me with all I do for Them. I smiled, kissed her good night, and got to praying.

I have faith the Gods watch over me. I think They realized that I was poisoning my body with grains and grass seeds every day of my life, and They took action: They made me aware of the issue. Would I have preferred They took the deficiency in my body away? Sure! I would love not to have these issues, but the pay-off when I am not eating grains and grass seeds is worth the slip-up pains. No more mandatory naps, no more unexplainable muscle cramps, no more headaches that went on for days... I feel 200% better... unless I eat grains or grass seeds; then I am miserable.

My intolerance issues could have simmered for years. I would have been able to eat everything, but I would also have been keeping my body in a permanent state of 'poisoned'. Now, I have a chance to live up to my potential, as long as I stay away from certain foods. It's a very small price to pay, considering, and this is why I feel my intolerance issues are a blessing, and I choose to believe it is a blessing from the Gods. This, to me, is having faith. Blind faith, perhaps, because I have no proof whatsoever. Yet, I have so many examples of these types of things happening to me; I can't doubt.

In the end, having faith requires a leap of faith, but seeing the blessings, the positives, in everything is one of the side effects of faith that are priceless and real, and which far outweigh any negative that may come along with it. I am perhaps the most positive person you will ever read; I will always assume the best. It drives some people nuts, and confuses others, but to me, it is the only way to live. I have my bad days, my doubts, like everyone but try not to let these overshadow the positives. The bad passes, it always does, because I have faith in the positives. I have faith in the Gods, and Their plan for me, and there is hardly a day when that is not enough.